Conquering Your Addiction to Food

beat food addictionAny addiction promotes an unhealthy lifestyle, but the ones that involve substances, such as a food, alcohol or drug addiction, are some that impose the most immediate threats to the addict. These addictions have rapid biological effects on the addict that change their bodily chemistry for the worse. A food addiction is dangerous and detrimental to the addict, and overcoming it should be a high priority, but how does one bring a food addiction under control? A food addiction is more than just a bad habit. It is a way of life for many people, and a particularly unhealthy way of life.

Self-help methods, such as addiction literature, work well for mild addictions and for independent people who value teaching themselves. For concerning but less severe addictions, outpatient rehab is a recommended form of treatment, but it is not residential so treatment sessions are shorter and more spread out. For extreme food addictions that are putting the addict in danger, inpatient rehab is highly recommended. This form of live-in, concentrated addiction treatment is the most intensive, aggressive and effective means of ending any addiction, and inpatient rehab programs that specialize in food addiction and eating disorders are available.

In order to beat any addiction, including food addiction, a particular key to success lies in filling your time with meaningful activities, hobbies, purposes and goals. Having a life of meaning will inspire a food addict to make a full recovery through the desire to experience and embrace life at its fullest.

In times of weakness when you feel in danger of relapsing or binging, turning to members of your support system for encouragement can make the difference between success and failure. Pulling your support system close to you is vital when recovering from a food addiction. This may be your friends, family or a food addiction support group that you have sought out. People you are close to and trust will be an important asset to your food addiction recovery.

The Serious Matter of Food Addiction

food addiction substance abuseBinging on food is triggered by the same impulses that trigger a person to binge on drugs and alcohol. The reasons for overusing food are very similar to the reasons for overusing other substances. We have other harsh descriptions for it, such as gluttony, overeating and piggishness, but when it comes right down to it, being addicted to food is actually a type of substance abuse. Not many people think of a food addiction as a type of substance abuse, but that is exactly what it is.

Many elements of food are addictive, such as salt and sugar, and when people who cannot control their cravings very well get these urges, over eating ensues. When they are done, they receive temporary feelings of satisfaction from over eating and tell themselves that it will not become a pattern. Like all substance abuse patterns, over eating begins with cravings for food.

Every time a person overeats, a pattern is established more and more firmly within their neural network. That pattern is the release of brain chemicals that tell the person they are starving and they cannot handle themselves if they do not binge again soon. This cycle is almost impossible for the person to resist and always results in continued overeating until the individual has a personal breakthrough. The cycle of overeating dictates that the following cravings will be even stronger.

Obesity is a bigger problem in North America than it is in any other region of the world. However, in order to view it correctly, it must be understood as substance abuse and harmful to personal health. If you or somone you are close to is struggling with a food addiction, seek the help of a mental health professional right away. Food addiction is much more socially acceptable than other forms of addiction, such as alcoholism or drug addiction, so there are more cases of it than other types of substance abuse.